On the precipice of Memorial Day Weekend I texted one of my best friends about the possibility of a camping trip in the Sierras. It wasn't going to be one of those backpacking trips deep into the Golden Trout Wilderness or logging long miles on the John Muir Trail. Nope. The plan was to head up Highway 108 for some good old fashioned car camping next to giant trailers while fishing for both wild and stocked trout.
Our destination is a place that brings back a lot of nostalgic feelings for me. The men in my extended family have been heading to this area for 35+ years. Traditionally, we plan for a "fishing" trip there twice a summer. Ultimately, it turns out to be more of an excuse to get into the mountains and have some fun than it is about actual fishing. (Look for a blog post about that trip coming soon!)
With such little planning, Morgan and I knew our chances of finding a spot to set up our tents were slim, especially since I wanted to stop by my cousin's graduation party Saturday afternoon. After some celebratory food and drink along with some well wishes for Braden on his way to college, we jumped in my truck and began our journey from the Bay to the Sierras. With each mile the air grew cleaner and thinner, all the hustle of life in San Francisco, quickly loosing focus in the rear view mirror.
Once deep into the Sierras, we circled through a few sites full of RV's and 10 man tents, ultimately settling on the lone walk-in campground near the river. After dragging our tents, gear, and Yeti Cooler to our spot, it was time to relax! Over the next 48 hours we spent time tying flies near the fire, fishing, trail running, and even enjoying a drink and the Giants game at The Last Chance, a true cowboy bar and a favorite stomping grounds for my uncles.
With runoff in full effect, the river was flowing high. To make matters worse, it rained both Saturday and Sunday night making the waters dark and off colored. The fishing wasn't as good as it usually is but we sill had a great time. The river was full of people drifting worms and Power Bait on conventional gear but it's a great place to enjoy some fishing and take in the beauty of California. Even entry level camping, where most people bring all the creature comforts of home can be fun. Personally, it's the wild places of the American West that get me most excited though.